The Jets are now 5-4. They lost tonight to the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium by a 22-17 score. With the win, the Bills took over from the Jets possession of the coveted fifth seed in the AFC Playoff picture, which most likely will mean a date with the AFC South Champion. What went wrong? Let's talk about it below.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick came to life in the second half, but it was after the Bills jumped out to a huge lead. His performance in the first half was an ugly 5 for 17. Not only was he spraying the ball all over the field, he also wasn't seeing people in coverage. He was missing basic reads and not seeing linebackers drop. He also threw an interception that changed the game, setting up a Buffalo field goal and subsequently a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. It was a total force to Brandon Marshall. Fitzpatrick also made some puzzling decisions on the line, like the quarterback sneak on third and ten. Granted, the Jets did pick up the following fourth down, but that wasn't the time for it. I will also be interested to find out whether Fitzpatrick made the decision on the immediate throw to Brandon Marshall on the fourth and two to start the fourth quarter. Sometimes that is a decision the quarterback makes at the line if he sees the corner playing too soft. It doesn't seem like the kind of play a team would call on fourth down. Maybe it was, though.
Devin Smith: His fumble might have been the play that changed the game as much as anything. It was 3-3 at that point. Maybe it was a rookie mistake. I don't know. Just because you are a rookie does not mean you are going to fumble. I don't blame the coaches for sticking him out there. They had to do something to try and ignite the return game. I will blame the coaches for this, though. Even had Smith not been tackled, he would have been stopped short of the 20. It seems like this is happening far more than it should for the Jets.
Eric Decker: His line looks pretty on the stat sheet, but a lot of this again came after the Jets fell well behind. Decker was part of putting them in that situation. With Brandon Marshall struggling early, there were plays to be made, and Decker wasn't making them. Whether he was not coming up with balls or not beating coverage, he took too long to get going. That third down drop was also a killer.
Jeremy Kerley: He was silent tonight and got outfought for a ball in the first half that would have been a big third down catch.
Kenbrell Thompkins: That third down play, he needed to have more of a head of steam I thought.
Chris Ivory: Something happened after that fumble that shook him out of the four week funk he had been in. He started running with authority, and the explosiveness returned. The fumble loomed large, though, as it resulted in a Buffalo field goal that changed the Jets' strategy the rest of the way.
Kellen Davis: He looked open. He didn't look for the ball.
Demario Davis: I think Davis played a solid game overall, but I can't shake the Karlos Williams touchdown out of my head when he was beaten in coverage. The Jets needed a stop coming out of halftime. That touchdown was big.
Marcus Gilchrist: He took a poor angle on the play. He could have at least prevented the touchdown.
Marcus Williams: He was beaten a few times on the Buffalo field goal drive right before halftime. He missed a few opportunities to make tackles on the Buffalo drive after halftime, and he missed another one on Buffalo's last drive that helped Buffalo come close to running out the clock.
Chan Gailey: I think playcalling is the low hanging fruit. I have seen Gailey called stupid for running the ball on one play, and then called stupid again for throwing it on the next play. A coordinator looks smart when his plays work and stupid when they don't. I do have to question Ivory not getting the ball on third and fourth down. He was rolling. At least work something off the success Ivory is having. Go play action. I have a tough time going to the shotgun and throwing to Kellen Davis with the game on the line. I didn't love the third down play to Thompkins either. We'll have to find out whether the Marshall call on fourth down was his as well. It is an awful job if so.
Muhammad Wilkerson: It was really a dominant performance by Wilkerson tonight. I would not have thought Wilkerson getting isolated against Tyrod Taylor as a runner would be a matchup that favored the Jets, but Wilkerson brought him down twice in the open field. He also made a huge third down stop that gave the Jets a shot to win the game. His final stat line was 6 tackles and 2 sacks.
Rontez Miles: It was a tough spot for Miles being thrown essentially from the practice squad into the starting lineup, but I thought he held up well. He did nice work as a blitzer and showed a nose for the ball. He made some open field tackles isolated in coverage in the flats. He was also the first guy through to tackle the punter on the muffed snap. With Dion Bailey also looking good, this is starting to look like a solid group of safeties the Jets might have once everybody gets healthy.
Tommy Bohanon: He actually looked like a playmaker on that 18 yard catch and threw a few nice blocks.
David Harris: 9 tackles and a sack for him tonight.
- Collectively this was a very good effort by the defense. Guys like Davis and Gilchrist ended up in the bad column for individual plays, but they did not necessarily play terrible games. Most players on the defense played at least decently. Turnovers gifted Buffalo 12 of its 22 points. Tyrod Taylor was shut down as a runner, and the blitzes the Jets threw at him seemed to have his head spinning as a passer. The defensive dominance through much of the second half gave the Jets a chance to win a game they had no business being in.